Press Briefing by the National Security Advisor, Stephen Hadley

WASHINGTON , May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following in a transcript of a press briefing by the National Security Advisor, Stephen Hadley : Continental Garden Reef Resort Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt 11:30 A.M. (Local...


Q On the nonproliferation efforts -- the President did discuss with the Prime Minister Olmert a threat posed by Iran . Did he also talk about other threats posed by other countries such as Syria or North Korea ?

MR. HADLEY: There's always -- was conversations about Syria , because Syria is in some sense a part of this threat. It's one of the instruments through which Iran is posing this challenge to the region. I don't believe that the North Korea issue came up at all.

Sir.

Q You keep talking about the commitment. What is the administration prepared to do next? What's the next chapter, and what is the administration prepared to do down the road to make the two sides live up to their obligations -- the Israelis and Palestinians?

MR. HADLEY: Well, part of it is what the parties themselves are doing. For example, when Secretary Rice was in the region here a week and a half ago, she had a meeting with Prime Minister Fayyad and Israeli Defense Minister Barak, and out of that meeting came an announcement from the Israeli side of a number of checkpoints that would be -- checkpoints and roadblocks that would be adjusted. There were -- a commitment to issue work permits for I think 5,000 Palestinians to work in Israel .

So the parties themselves have a mechanism now by which they are beginning to agree upon and make announcements of progress. The experiment I talked about in Jenin has as an element a understanding between Israelis and Palestinians by which as the Palestinians step forward and can show that they can effectively provide security, the Israelis will be able to change their role and step back a bit. That is, of course, one of the core things in the road map, which is the Palestinian Authority building the institutions and then using those institutions to fight terror.

So there is a process now by which the parties themselves are beginning to work out arrangements that implement the road map, but they're doing it in an interesting way -- in some sense, sort of step by step or area by area. And we of course are part of that process in a very active way. General Keith Dayton , as you know, is very much involved in strengthening the Palestinian security organizations, particularly the PSO -- Palestinian Security Organization -- and the Presidential Guard.

There are other groups. For example, the Germans are being very active with Palestinian police. You also know that General Fraser is here to facilitate the conversations between Israelis and Palestinians on road map implementation. General Jones is in the region trying to help the Israelis and Palestinians think through the security concept that will ensure that a new Palestinian state and Israel can both be secure in this fairly tumultuous region.

And finally, Secretary Rice, as you know, has been to this region sort of every couple to three weeks, and my expectation is that that will continue as we try and encourage and support the parties as they find their way forward here. But again, as the President has said so many times, we can support the parties, but in the end of the day, the parties are the ones that need to sit down and working this through. And the good news of this is that that's what we're seeing the parties do, both in terms of the negotiations for the agreement and also for implementation of the road map.

Q Do you anticipate the President coming back here? There's been a lot of speculation about a "last shot."

MR. HADLEY: I think the President will come back here when there is work for him to do to advance the process. And the President made a judgment that this was useful to advance the process. I tried to describe how we think he thinks he has done so. I think the President is open, again, as he's -- as he committed to do what needs to be done to try and get success here.

Sir.

Q When the President went into Iraq in '03, one of the things you were subsequently criticized for was the thinking that we'd go in, get out, do democracy (inaudible) few months or a short period of time. Now he's sort of talking six decades on painting the struggle into a much broader time frame. What sort of trigger prompted this change, or this transition, from seeing the struggle --